As vehicle technology changes, consumers are forced to think differently about the type of car they want and how they’re buying it. In a world where marketing is pouring out of every website, social media platform, snail mail, email, and beyond, consumers become overloaded, which leads to the abandonment of brand loyalty.
Therefore, it’s important for dealerships to cut through the noise and enact personalized marketing in order to reach the right consumers, at the right time, with the right deal. Many consumers turn that marketing overload into research. In fact, car buyers spend 59% of their time online researching, per Autotrader.
It’s crucial that dealerships are aware of this approach so they can learn from the consumers’ interests, and form the discussion in a tailored way that goes beyond just talking numbers. This way, the salesperson is able to keep the sale and foster brand loyalty to the car and the dealership.
What is personalized marketing?
So, what is personalized dealership marketing, really? It’s the process of identifying consumers who are in the market to buy a car, and tailoring an experience unique to them.
Behavior prediction is possible because of the vast amount of consumer-created data available. As cars become more connected, they send upwards of 25 GB of data to the cloud per hour, which in turn, anticipates consumers’ purchase readiness.
Essentially, consumers’ current cars can help dealerships pinpoint the need for a new car purchase. Through data mining, predictive analytics, and more, dealerships are able to more precisely target consumers.
Insights on what consumers want
The most common form of initial contact with a dealership (more than half of car shoppers) is simply walking into the dealership, per Autotrader. So, in order for dealerships to close the sale, they first have to get customers to walk in the door.
Using a predictive approach to marketing allows dealerships to do just that by providing them unique insights on each customer prior to their walking into the dealership. This means that dealerships know the important details about customers from the get-go: what their car purchasing history is, what make and models they like, what price point they’re interested in, and more.
By having an understanding of this data, dealerships can reach out to these customers, explain that they understand their specific needs, and get them in the door. Once these customers have stepped foot in the dealership, because dealers already have and understand the data on the customers’ buying behavior, they can expedite the sales process.
Approximately 79% percent of customers want their in-dealer buying experience to be completed in less than two hours (per eLEND Solutions) but the average customer spends more than two and a half hours purchasing a vehicle, and satisfaction begins to dip after 90 minutes, reports Autotrader.
By effectively using predictive analytics, the sales cycle can be shortened, ensuring the customer remains satisfied. Just think about it: a streamlined, data-driven sales process generating a positive car-buying experience.
Cost savings and better results
It’s also worth mentioning that the cost of digital marketing and the levels of competition are in constant flux, so big data and behavior analytics give every dealership competitive advantages.
This advantage can empower sales and marketing teams at dealerships to use their efforts and dollars toward the correct audience: consumers who are in the market to buy a vehicle. This way, marketing budgets are better allocated, as opposed to using trial and error. Big data gives the advantage of hyper-targeting the correct customers.
Ultimately, for dealers, the biggest marketing sales priority is increasing lead volume and conversions. With the help of big data, this is possible by giving a personalized, seamless experience for consumers that leads to a successful sale.
Clearly, the power of personalization, driven by predictive analytics, means that dealerships can market smarter, sell smarter, and predict smarter. The advantages are endless.
For the dealership, there’s time savings because they’re targeting the most ideal customers from the get-go, as well as increasing sales growth. For consumers, they’re getting tailored and expedited experiences, based on their unique circumstances and preferences.
For dealers to up their sales momentum through 2018, they will need to continually step up their personalized marketing game.
Johannes Gnauck is CEO of automotiveMastermind, the leading provider of predictive analytics and marketing automation technology for the automotive industry. The company’s cloud-based platform helps dealers precisely predict automobile-buying behavior and automates the creation of micro-targeted consumer communications, leading to proven higher sales and consistent customer retention. Learn how we are implementing marketing with contextual relevancy for the automotive industry at www.automotivemastermind.com.
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